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The Berlin Ultimatum (November 27, 1958)

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The creation of the anti-Hitler coalition is a fact without precedent in modern history, if only because states with different social systems united in a defensive and just war against the common enemy. The Soviet Government highly reveres the concord of nations that took shape in the struggle against Fascism and was sealed by the blood of the freedom-loving peoples. The Soviet people would like to preserve and develop the feelings of trust and friendship that marked their relations with the peoples of the USA, Britain, France, and the other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition during the grim years of the last war.

When the peoples were celebrating victory over Hitlerite Germany, a conference of the heads of government of the Soviet Union, the USA, and Great Britain was held in Potsdam in order to work out a joint policy with respect to post-war Germany. The Potsdam Agreement, to which France acceded soon after it was signed, generalized the historical experience of the struggle waged by the peoples to prevent aggression by German militarism. The entire content of this agreement was directed toward creating conditions precluding the possibility of yet another attack by Germany against peace-loving states, toward preventing German militarists from unleashing another world war so that Germany, having abandoned forever the mirage of a policy of conquest, might make a firm start on the road to peaceful development.

Expressing the will of the peoples who made untold sacrifices for the sake of crushing the Hitlerite aggressors, the governments of the Four Powers solemnly undertook to eradicate German militarism and Nazism, to prevent forever their revival, and to take all steps to ensure that Germany would never again threaten its neighbors or the preservation of world peace. The participants in the Potsdam Conference expressed their determination to prevent any Fascist and militaristic activity or propaganda. They also undertook to permit and encourage all democratic political parties in Germany.

For purposes of destroying the economic foundation of German militarism, it was decided to eliminate excessive concentration in Germany's economy, represented in the form of cartels, syndicates, trusts, and other monopolies, which ensured the assumption of power by Fascism and the preparation and carrying out of Hitlerite aggression.

The Potsdam Agreement contained important provisions whereby Germany was to be regarded as a single economic entity, even during the occupation period. The agreement also provided for the creation of central German administrative departments. The Council of Foreign Ministers, established by a decision of the Potsdam Conference, was instructed to prepare a peace settlement for Germany.

The implementation of all these measures should have enabled the German people to effect a fundamental reconstruction of their life and to ensure the creation of a milted, peace-loving, democratic German state.

Such are the main provisions of the Potsdam Agreement, which ensured an equitable combination of the interests both of the nations that had fought against Germany and of the fundamental interests of the German people themselves, and at the same time created a sound basis for carrying out a joint policy by the Four Powers concerning the German question, and, hence, for extensive and fruitful cooperation between them in European matters in general. However, further developments deviated a great deal from the direction mapped out at Potsdam. Relations between the USSR and the Three Western Powers kept deteriorating. Mutual distrust and suspicion kept growing and have now developed into unfriendly relations.

The Soviet Government sincerely hoped that after the victorious end of the war it would be quite possible, notwithstanding all the inevitability of ideological differences, to continue the fruitful cooperation between the Great Powers that headed the anti-Hitler coalition, on the basis of sober recognition of the situation resulting from the war.

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